Poverty relief is a complex undertaking that often requires both immediate intervention and upstream investment. Walter Strickland, Associate Vice President for Kingdom Diversity at Southeastern Seminary, appeals to the biblical narrative in Ruth as a model for Christian engagement with materially impoverished people. Consider what he teaches about how you can proactively aid the poor and what practices you may need to change or avoid in order to do maximum good for the least of these.
- One of our favorite parts of this article is that Walter Strickland applies the gleaning model to a real life scenario. He suggests that the next time someone asks for money, we offer to hire him to do yard work. He says this confronts poverty in a helpful and constructive way, meeting our need and his need. The next time someone asks you for a handout, what in your realm can you leverage to restore the broken relationships causing poverty?
- This principle still applies when we travel overseas, though in another context we lose many of the tools at our disposal for employing the gleaning model. We can’t pay a Kenyan to do chores as a means of providing work, so how do you still apply this wisdom when you’re far from home?